First round is crowded

Updated: June 22, 2005, 12:56 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
The deadline for withdrawing from the NBA draft passed on Tuesday with way too many underclassmen still making themselves available.

First-round hopefuls Martynas Andriuskevicius, Andrew Bynum, Yaroslav Korolev, Ike Diogu, Jarrett Jack, Randolph Morris, Roko Ukic, Ersan Ilyasova, Johan Petro, Mile Ilic, Linas Kleiza, Matt Walsh, C. J. Miles and Louis Williams all decided to roll the dice on the first round.

The good news is that the second round of this year's draft might be the strongest in the history of the draft. The bad news is that a number of those first-round hopefuls are going to be the players that make the second round so great.

There just isn't enough room in the first round for all of them.

Then factor in a new collective bargaining agreement that creates the NBA's first true minor league. In my breakdown Tuesday night of the new CBA, I wrote that the NBDL and age minimum could seriously alter this year's draft strategy for a number of teams – encouraging teams to draft younger players with big upsides because of the ability to develop players down the road.

Big-upside players such as Martynas Andriuskevicius, Andrew Bynum, Yaroslav Korolev and Ersan Ilyasova suddenly look much more interesting to teams than they did 24 hours ago.

Combine that with lots and lots of trade talk and rumors of promises, and the draft is still virtually impossible to mock just seven days before selection day.

Here's our best shot.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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